The Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf Dubai, a hidden dining hotspot located just of Al Khail Road that is so easily overlooked. Home to Merletto, this hotel boasts some of the most stunning restaurants in the city and this Italian gem is no exception.
Wednesday nights offer diners a fantastic deal: AED 140 for all you can eat antipasti as well as a main and decadent dessert and for just AED 50 more you can enjoy two glasses of wine and access to their small but delicious cheese offerings tucked away in the wine cellar.
With a stunning open kitchen where bustling chefs prepare each dish to order under the watchful eye of the passionate head chef and a spread of antipasti that will make your mouth water instantly, Merletto is a truly beautiful space. The dining room is highlighted with flashes of pink, which against the dark wood of the furniture presents a contrast you wouldn’t expect from a place like this; the ceilings are adorned with lighting fixtures that border on the ostentatious but the glitzy crystals somehow seem comfortably at home against the simple lines of the rest of the decor.
The room is filled with the sounds of Italy, playing everything from pop to a little alt rock throughout the evening it was a welcome change from the classic and stereotypical ballads we’ve all heard a million times.
The buffet offers you a choice of cold appetisers with a very Mediterranean flavour, with a heavy focus on seafood and roasted vegetables you can expect a mouthwatering selection of olives and bread along side everything else. But that isn’t where the starters end; brought to your table fresh from the kitchen is an offering of hot bites that includes calamari, mozzarella sticks and absolutely decadent arancini balls. But it doesn’t stop there, there is also the delicious soup, a warming bowl of butternut goodness drizzled with just a touch of truffle oil – make sure you save some bread for dunking because you’ll want to make sure you get every last bit out of the bowl before you move on!
Once you have ordered your main courses you don’t have to wait long before being spoilt again as you are presented with a bowl of fresh pasta and a choice of vegetarian or meat pizza, each one topped with some of the most delicious fresh tomato sauce. I could not get over the full bodied flavour of each bite, like a burst of sunshine every time – as cliche as that may sound. The pizza dough is light and perfectly cooked, topped with flavoursome pepperoni or soft sweet peppers and fresh arugula and mozzarella, and honestly, you will find yourself wanting to over indulge – but don’t, save room for your mains!
While the menu choices may seem limited at first they do cater to all tastes, with everything from lasagne or steak to chicken or fish there is an option to suit most people. We opted for the classic lasagne bolognese and the rib eye steak, each one cooked to perfection. The lasagne was hearty and homely, just like mama would make – as they say – the sheets of pasta were fresh and light while the sauce oozed with rich flavours, plus the garlic bread it is served with was to die for, topped with pesto and cheese one piece is almost not enough! Which reminds me; all their bread? Made in house, which is probably why it is so ridiculously yummy. But I am getting distracted, the steak was a hefty serving of meat so make sure you’re hungry, served with chips and a moreish sauce everything was cooked to perfection.
By the time we made it to dessert it was a squeeze fitting in the decadent offerings, the panacotta and lemon tart we tried should not be missed, light but packed with flavour and perfectly cooked and presented it was a lovely way to end the meal.
But wait…what about the cheese? There is always room for cheese, right?
Tucked away in the modest wine cellar sits a barrel topped with a selection of fine cheese including a delicious parmesan and a creamy, smooth, homemade ricotta – you will want to save room for this. Before you dive in though, do take a minute to browse the fridges, there are some stunning bottles on offer that will tantalise the taste buds of any grape lover.
To book your table call: 04 317 7777
This is a sponsored post. I was compensated, but all opinions are my own.